Another quilt?


During the war of 1914-1918, Sir Robert Hadfield put all the resources of his firm, Hadfield’s Steel of Sheffield, England, at the disposal of his country; the war material produced by the company during this time amounted to a value of about £36,000,000. Sir Robert also founded and entirely supported a military hospital with 100 beds, organized by Lady Hadfield, at Wimereux, near Boulogne at a cost of some £75,000. The hospital known variously as Lady Hadfield’s Hospital, the Anglo-American Hospital and No 5 British Red Cross Hospital, Wimereux opened on 14 December 1914 and closed on 10 January 1919 during which time some 16,000 cases passed through it.

Based on correspondence of Sir Robert Hadfield - Sheffield City Archives

Robert Hadfield (1858-1940) married Frances Belt Wickersham (1862-1949) on 19 September 1894 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA where Frances had been born.


The hospital received a steady stream of illustrious visitors including the following as recorded in the Visitors’ Book:

In January 1916 , the Governors of both Calais and Boulogne,

In February 1916, George Owen Squier (1865-1934), US Military Attache,

In March 1916, Sir Charles Rosdew Forbes-Leith, 1st Baronet, (1859-1930), Aide de Camps to
HM King George V.

In May 1916, Frederick Edward Packe CVO OBE (1879-1953), Lieutenant-Colonel, Welsh Regiment
Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia (1892-1980)
Irene Mary Bewick Ward CH DBE (1895-1980), Baroness Ward of North Tyneside
Richard Henry Stewart Sawyer (1875-1926), Deputy Director Medical Services
Florence Priscilla, Lady Norman CBE JP (1883-1964)

In June 1916, Marie Curie (1867-1934), pioneer of research into radioactivity
Sir Ian Zachary Malcolm KCMG (1868-1944), 17th Laird of Poltalloch
Sir William Taylor CB KBE (1871-1933) President of the Red Cross of Ireland
Dublin (83rd) General Hospital near Boulogne

In November 1916, Sir Thomas Percy Woodhouse (1857-1931) KCMG CB
responsible to the Adjutant General, In charge at Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, UK

In May 1917, Rear Admiral William S Sims, Commanding US Naval Operations in European Waters

In October 1917, Lord Athlone, born Prince Alexander of Teck (1874-1957).

In January 1918, Isabel Anderson, (1876-1948), American Red Cross

In February 1918, General Tasker Howard Bliss (1853-1930), Chief of Staff, US Army
Oscar Terry Crosby (1861-1947), Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, President of Inter-allied Council on War Purchases and Finance
Sir Anthony Alfred Bowlby (1855-1929) KCB KCMG KCVO FRCS 1st Baronet of Manchester Square

In August 1918, Grace Gallatin Seton Thompson (1872-1959), author

In December 1918, Elinor Glyn (1864-1943), author

In January 1919, General Gabriel Paul Vincent Falque (1860-1940), Governor of Boulogne.

Visitors' Book of the Anglo-American Hospital, Wimereux, Jan. 1916 - Jan. 1919 Sheffield City Archives MD4036

The following extract from the letters of John Hamilton Maxwell Staniforth (1893-1985) relates to his stay at the Hadfield Hospital.

No 14 General Hospital was in Hotel Splendid and adjacent buildings and included a tented area in the grounds to the rear of the hotel building.

The 1918 New Year Honours, Commander of the British Empire (CBE) included Frances Bett, Lady Hadfield, Donor and Administrator, No. 5 Hospital, Wimereux, France.

The hospital closed on 10 January 1919.

Helen Macdonald (b 1883) was a British Red Cross nurse who served in several hospitals in France during WWI. She rose to the rank of Sister and was at the Hadfield Hospital probably during 1916. Helen published a booklet about the Hadfield Hospital.

“The Story of the Hadfield Hospital [Wimereux]” 9 x 5½ pp36 St. Clements Press, 1917 by Helen R Macdonald – The English Catalogue, 1919 p148

If you can have any further information about the Hadfield Hospital please contact us here.

Hotel Splendid and Casino, Wimereux, used by No 14 General Hospital

Courtesy of 1914 Early Days - THE FAIREST FORCE, fairestforce.co.uk

The hospital occupied a hotel in the Rue Carnot "Grand Hôtel des Anglais et des Bains". The medical staff of the hospital lived in the “Hôtel de L’Union” a short distance away along Rue Carnot. Both these building still exist; the Grand Hôtel at numbers 22-28 Rue Carnot has become a home to several retailers and the Hôtel de L’Union is a Carrefour supermarket.

The above information and the following image have been provided by Wimereux historian, Christian Barbe from his book, “Wimereux 1914-1918”.